The first time I put on Google Glass I got giddy.
Take a picture. Record a video. Google: How do you say, "May I please have a coffee," in French?
Through the bone-conduction headphone one that sends vibrations through my skull, rather than just shooting sound straight into your ear Glass's translation technology read the words in a perfect Parisian accent.
I couldn't stop smiling. It was exhilarating. The heads-up display even though it was just showing the time at first with the words 'Ok Glass' beneath felt like the future.
For those late to the party (or not among the fortunate early adopters), Glass is Google's first foray into wearable computing.
It's a new type of device (think: the next generation of mobile) that has the potential to change the way we think about computing. For bankers, it could change the way they talk to their customers.
Or, at least, that's what analysts and evangelists are saying.
The internet-connected head-mounted gear, which responds to voice commands, takes advantage of a translucent prism sitting on its edge, mounted on the titanium frame.
There is a piece of reflective, well, glass inside the prism that reflects a display from the tiny, 12-gigabyte motherboard it's attached to.
I'm one of the first non-developers to get his hands on the technology.
Google recently began doling out the devices to Glass Explorers (there are about 8,000 of us), those that applied this Spring through Twitter or Google+, like myself.
And since earlier this month I've been unbelievably stoked, patiently (OK, sometimes impatiently) waiting for the appointment that was to take place in an open 8th floor space overlooking Manhattan's skyline at the top of the Chelsea Market in the meatpacking district.
Some of the mobile app features banks already offer, including augmented reality (read: PNC's ATM Finder app), account information lookups, and geolocation, could eventually be incorporated into Glass.
The project was first announced last year. It was later offered to coders at the company's developer conference, Google I/O.
On a recent Google Hangout, tech blogger Robert Scoble said that at least one bank overseas is already creating a version of its mobile banking app that will work on Glass.
It could, of course, work for commerce.
Glass is already well suited for the tech giant's aptly named Google Wallet. Explorers, like myself, had to purchase the thing for 1,500 bucks, plus tax, using the Wallet.
It's not hard to envision Google someday pushing offers when you are walking by, say, a Starbucks. It could use its Google Now feature, which notices your searching habits and recommends information to you about prepackaged cards brought up at the appropriate time. The machine even reads QR codes to authenticate the wifi networks to which it connects.
That could potentially allow payments innovators, such as Square, to turn Glass into a payments acceptor that might someday complete transactions after scanning a barcode.
Interestingly enough, one of the other Explorers I met in the waiting room was a developer from Charlotte (a banking capital in its own right) who had previously created an app using Stripe's payments gateway API.
My guide, Margot, who fitted me for the device by twisting the titanium frames and adjusting the nose pads, grinned when I asked about the possibility of perhaps pre-buying movie tickets with the device's voice command.
"There are infinite possibilities," she said, mentioning that programmers haven't yet released their glassware into the open market.
When asked questions about the future of Glass, Margot spouted a reply fit for a Google's own press office. "I can't comment about that at this time." Media training, perfect.
Over the next month, I'm going to explore the potential uses for the device both for banks and mobile commerce. Naturally, there are a lot of questions:
How secure is it? What kind of networks does it really tap into? Are you truly authenticated when you do some of this stuff? Could you do a social log-in?
There are, however, kinks to be worked out.
My father, a 50-something native Brooklynite who is hard of hearing because of the years he spent in the New York Times' press room, couldn't make out what I was saying when I called him using the device. It syncs to your phone using Bluetooth.
"You sound horrible," he shouted over the phone, quickly becoming annoyed. "You're all garbled."
It wasn't much better on my end.
I frequently have to plug my right ear because the special headphone positioned over it isn't loud enough to make out the person on the other end of the line.
Margot assured me that updates to the device will improve the quality of the sound.